An Inland Empire Innovation Ecosystem Project
What is the Inland Empire Innovation Ecosystem?
IE Squared is a collaboration of regional partners seeking to support and advocate for strengthening the innovation ecosystem in the Inland Empire. IESquared.org is a resource for innovation in the region and includes: a directory of regional incubators and accelerators, research on the current state of innovation in the Inland Empire, convening coordinated narrative work and events; and maintaining, fostering, and growing relationships within and outside the Inland Empire.
We define an innovation ecosystem as an “interconnected network of companies and other entities that coevolve capabilities around a shared set of technologies, knowledge, or skills, and work cooperatively and competitively to develop new products and services.” In the Inland Empire, this ecosystem consists of interconnected stakeholders in higher education, industry, local government, community, and investment and funding organizations. Read our report for more details.
Project Description & Goals
The “Founder’s Blog” is an Inland Empire Innovation Ecosystem project, in partnership with the University of La Verne’s Randall Lewis Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Social Impact, and UC Riverside’s Center for Social Innovation. The purpose of this blog is to help highlight local innovators, entrepreneurs, and specifically “founders” of different businesses and organizations throughout the region. The focus of this blog will center around community and connectivity in addition to lifting up local voices. The blogs will highlight the “founders” work, their connection to the Inland Empire, its people, and why they’re proud to live and/or work in this region. We want to lift up the IE innovation ecosystem as a whole, and showcase our local talent, entrepreneurship, passion, and determination.
The blogs will be hosted on https://iesquared.org and shared through a variety of traditional and social media channels. Blogs will be posted quarterly and promoted leading up to the release and after, in partnership with the author. In terms of topics, blogs will highlight the “founders” work, their connection to the Inland Empire, its people, and why they’re proud to live and/or work in this region. The following page contains optional guiding questions that can help formulate and steer the blog, but author’s can expand beyond these questions if needed.
Blog Length & Word Count: Our goal is to post informative, interesting, and brief blogs that are easily digestible and shared via social media channels. With this in mind, we suggest no more than 500 words (about two pages of text). We are aiming for no more than 10 minutes or reading time per post.
- Introduction – First, tell us about yourself and background (Are you from the region? Did you move here? If so, why?)
- What is the origin story of your business/organization/idea/innovation? What was your inspiration?
- How does your business/organization connect to the diverse communities and residents in the Inland Empire?
- What need does your business/organization meet? Or what is innovative/different about what you do?
- Be sure to talk about the growth of your business/organization; any accomplishments, successes, etc.
- What are the short term goals of your business/organization? How can others partner with you?
- What are the future goals of your business/organization?
- If you could do it all over again, what advice would you give to a new founder or entrepreneur?
- What keeps you motivated for success? How do you maintain balance in your work and personal life?
- Be sure to include contact information for you and your business/organization. Do you have a website, social media, etc? How can people contact you?
If you have any questions or would like more information, please reach out to us!
Gary Rettberg, Center for Social Innovation, University of California, Riverside
Jessica Morales, Randall Lewis Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Social Impact